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The Fleischer Brothers Must Have Stunned Their Audiences
ccthemovieman-1 from United States
10 October 2007
This is a long cartoon: almost 11 minutes, which can seem longer when
there is absolute silence including sound-effects noises. However,
because it's Max Fleischer and his animated "invention," "Koko The
Clown," there is usually enough entertaining material to keep to
I never cease to marvel at the ingenuity of these old silent cartoons.
Fleischer, and his brother Dave, who directed these cartoons, must have
simply stunned the movie audiences back in the early '20s with this
material. Some 85 years later, I think it holds up well, except for the
lack of sound.
The Fleischer's mixed real-life characters (usually himself) with the
animated Koko and you'd see some unique results. For instance, after
throwing Mexican jumping beans on the canvas and having Koko go crazy
trying to catch them, Max gets an eye dropper and puts a few drops of
water on the drawing board. Suddenly, a huge bean stalk starts growing
and growing, and growing right out of the canvas to the sky and Koko
starts climbing it. It's really clever stuff with a few signs that are
still funny today as the clown climbs into outer space past various
planets. This is pretty wild material.
What's unusual, even for a totally silent animated effort like this, is
that you don't get a title card or comic-strip bubble until after five
minutes. In other words: no written dialog of any kind until then. In
all, there were only three or four of them so there is almost entirely
silent visuals. Yet the sights are so bizarre it hooks you in,
wondering what crazy thing you'll see next.
Without giving away too much, suffice to say it ends with a "Gulliver's
Kudos to the people who produced the "Popeye The Sailor Man Volume One
DVD set for including these wonderful classic cartoons. This one can be
seen on disc three from the "From the vault" extra features.
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